Plenty of Sharks in the Sea, Too

The past year and a half has been a damn eye-opener in reference to SO many people! I cannot believe some of the interactions I’ve had – many have been embarrassing. I’m not sure if this is “human nature” but wow … I’m just going to say that some folks belong in a “selfish boat” / aka: “shark boat”.

The people I speak of have been Torey’s “friends” for a very long time. Where am I going with this, you ask? Well let’s just say some have taken the liberty to advance their “offers” of “taking care of me” or sharing their “attraction” to me in several different ways.

I’m not proud of this – in fact, the ones that have – on a surface level = whatever.

The ones who have used T-Mitch as a REASON for their advances = downright disrespectful and offensive. Period. No one knew him like I did. He wouldn’t have recommended anyone he knew as a potential suitor. Never.

Sure, we’d talk about what we would do if we ever split up, and he would always encourage me to find my own path regardless of what aspect of life we referred to – this includes another person to fall in love with. I still don’t think this is truly possible for me, but whatever. I’m just really tired of the shark boat and I’m officially done with it all.

The only one on the planet I will allow to speak for T-Mitch is my son, Das. Das is one of his best friends and confidants. In fact, he prepared Das for his own demise better than he prepared me … maybe because he knew how stubborn I was to ever accept this reality. I always reassured him that I would be the first one to go… Torey beat me to the punch. Dammit!!!!

If you’re a shark reading this: I forgive you, but we need space. A ton of it. Like maybe a lifetime. Take care and be well.  

ANAS SODKI/SHUTTERSTOCK

#missyouTMitch (seriously!)

#46’s Inauguration

I don’t even know where to start! I re-wrote the beginning of this post at least six times already… all I can say is, “Good riddance #45!” My goodness – the past four years have been the darkest in so many ways… I kept looking back on 45’s inauguration and how surreal it seemed. It was so difficult to accept!

I remember the night 45 got elected like it was yesterday. Torey and I were in complete shock and we broke out the Tequila and we didn’t stop until well after 10 or 11 pm. I did that drunk-ugly-cry for at least an hour it seemed like. We were pretty hungover the next morning and it was like a new life filter was set before our eyes.

The new reality was stark and Torey worried about our safety – not just as a family, but as a race. He talked about learning how to use guns for protection and getting a license to own a gun. I remember walking into the office and seeing co-workers in the worst of moods – some still shedding tears. It was draining.

Anyway, today felt like a breath of fresh air! I’m incredibly happy for our nation and truly proud of Vice President Kamala Harris! What an amazing achievement and I fully trust both her and Biden to lead us in the right direction. To represent Black people, South Asians (Desi people, stand UP!) and WOMEN as VP – WOW!!!!! What a role model to so many young women of all races and ages. I feel bad for not owning a pair of Chucks otherwise I would have rocked them today with some pearls!

Has a sense of unity been restored? I don’t think so – not fully and I don’t know if we’ll ever get rid of the sense of division in our society. I hope to be proven wrong though! And … there’s that word: hope. I believe in hope and thankful to have it back in my life!

2021 Inauguration Day via Los Angeles Times

#missyouTMitch

The Day Our Son Was Born (carrying on…)

I’m using this platform to share the story of the birth of Das … I used to update this on Facebook but they no longer offer the Notes platform anymore! My son turns seventeen on 1.11.2021 and here’s my memory:

Back in January of 2004, we lived off of Chimney Rock & Highway 59 in Houston… and had a very spacious one-bedroom apartment. I was big and pregnant, working at Arbitron while Torey sold Dish Network to all the new subdivisions in & around Houston. My doctor, Dr. Jackson, had told me the due date would be on Valentine’s Day (yes, my son IS a lovechild!)… the crib was bought, but not put together. I had plenty of gifts from my baby shower, but none of them had been opened or prepared. We figured we’d get to all the preparations at some point before the due date. Dr. Jackson ended up in going on vacation and Dr. Nguyen took over.

While I was pregnant, and before I knew the sex of the baby, I always referred to the baby as “he” or “him” … I wanted a boy SO badly! Nothing against little girls, Y’all, but I grew up with my brother who got me interested in cars, jets, and transformers … my Dad has always been an avid sports fan, so I had a love for football, basketball, and tennis … and while in India, my older cousin was a boy and we played cricket all day long … so the male influence during my childhood made it easier for me to get along with guys. Plus I have a lot of uncles on both sides of the family …. Please excuse my ramble moment.

Anyway, you get the idea!

Once we got the sonogram on September 23rd, 2003, I was ecstatic! Not only was my baby a BOY, but his facial profile was almost an exact replica of Torey’s profile! I couldn’t help wishing again, “I hope he gets those almond-shaped eyes!!” Torey’s eyes got me the first moment I saw them … Irresistible! (TMI? WHATEVS! This is MY story, thank you!)

Deciding on a name was actually really easy for us. We brainstorm really well together, so this process wasn’t difficult. Sure, growing up you think of “perfect” names you want to give your children, but none of those seemed to fit right for either of us anymore. We wanted something very special and unique for our son.

We had just watched Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” together – we had borrowed the DVD from a friend. We discussed how amazing Mahatma Gandhi was and how inspirational his legacy is. Torey got really quiet and asked, “How about Mohandas?” I thought about it … I liked it. A lot. It meant that our son would learn the virtues Gandhi taught to our world and he’d realize where civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King got their inspiration. Plus, the last 3 letters of Gandhi’s first name reminded me of my Grandfather’s nickname: Das. My Grandfather’s name was Prabhudas.

My mind went to work for the middle name and without hesitation, I said, “Malcolm for the middle name?” Torey loved it. It was an amazing moment. Mohandas Malcolm. A perfect ying-yang of ideals and philosophies. Das. Perfect! Mohandas Malcolm Mitchell.

On January 10, 2004, I spent my day with Torey and a few of my in-laws who were visiting us from San Antonio – they had just had a daughter, Ashley, 5 or 6 months prior to their visit. Since I never really dealt with babies, it was nice to be around Ashley (I got to change a diaper or two!) … Torey and his Uncle hung out that night (if you know either of them, then you’ll know how hardcore it got! Haha!) while I had dinner with his Uncle’s wife, Patricia, and Ashley. We went to Pappa’s Seafood and I had some kind of a shrimp dish. After that, Patricia dropped me off at my apartment and left to put Ashley to sleep in their hotel.

I have no idea when Torey got home, but it was late, he was … intoxicated and had a lot of fun! I was a bit jealous, but I knew I didn’t have to wait too long for a drink or two. Needless to say, he immediately fell into a deep sleep. I woke up around 4 am (my usual I-gotta-roll-out-of-bed-to-pee-time when I was pregnant) to use the restroom. Once I … handled my business … I noticed that my business didn’t look like it had stopped being handled! It was like a never-ending stream of clear pee! That’s when I had my lightbulb moment: my water broke. Uh oh. I didn’t panic and I didn’t run in to wake Torey up. Instead, I called my doctor. He told me to meet him at the Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in 15 minutes. I got dressed & held a towel between my legs (yes, gross, but I couldn’t think of any other logical solution!)

I went to wake Torey up and gently nudged him, “Torey, wake up. My water broke. We gotta go to the hospital.”

Torey is obviously still under the influence, and he responds with, “Honey, don’t worry. Let’s call the doctor in the morning. Come back to bed.” As much as I wanted to laugh I replied with, “Torey, I just talked to the doctor and he wants me to meet him in 15 minutes at the hospital.”

He immediately sprung out of bed and got dressed with the expression of, “Whaaaat?? REALLY!!???” on his face. I had no time to pack “The Bag” … you know the hospital bag with all your necessities? Of course not! This is happening way too early!

For the record, I must say: Torey was in no rush to get to the hospital. He drove the speed limit. His reasoning: “I’m already drunk and if we get pulled over, we’d have more trouble.”

My reasoning: “My contractions have started, motherf****r, they don’t feel good, and I’m STILL LEAKING!” (LOL)

We got to the hospital around 4:45 am, they checked me in and wheeled me to my room. I had already decided on getting the epidural shot and was going to have Das naturally. My parents and my brother were on their way from Fort Worth – I was SO anxious to see my Mom! She’s an OBGYN Nurse and I had always imagined her being there next to me at every moment of this big day, but Das decided not to wait any longer to come out. Oh and for those of you who are wondering if he was a pre-mature baby – no, the doctor (Dr. Nguyen) later said I had my calculations all wrong (well duh me!). Don’t blame me though – I was still having a cycle well into the first 3 months of my pregnancy so I had NO clue I was pregnant! Mother Nature certainly has her sense of humor, huh?

The pains from the contractions are unforgettable. They are nothing like anything I had ever felt before. You hear about women who have really bad cramps, but contractions make cramps look like the size of Earth next to Jupiter. But to be quite honest, mine were tolerable… I wasn’t screaming in agony – I just had to take some really deep breaths to get over them. No big deal. Really.

Torey was watching football and reading a magazine. Every now and again he’d share a story from the mag, and I think I kept giving him the “do-I-really-care-about-that-right-now?” look. Poor guy – he was still pretty hung over.

Around 9:30 or 10 o’clock that morning the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. As a young girl, I had always been scared of anesthesiologists. Why? Have you ever read any of Robin Cook’s books!? “Coma” (good movie by the way!) was one, but “Harmful Intent” was the kicker for me in the hospital. Plus the whole idea of having a needle poked into your spine is just an insane idea! He kept missing the spot (uh oh!) and kept asking me to bend over more – “Helloooo! I am pregnant! I can’t bend over any more than I already have!!” is what I was thinking…. I have no idea what my expressions were at this point and I don’t really remember talking.

The nurse took a look at me and said, “You have to be the most stoic patient I’ve ever had.” I think I managed a smile at this point.

Once the epidural kicked in, the contractions were history. I remembered thinking, “If I can’t feel my muscles, how the hell am I supposed to push?” Weird.

One of the machines I was hooked up to started beeping. It didn’t sound right. The nurse and doctor hurried into my room and a moment later they said that Das’ umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. This meant having him naturally was out of the question. They had to cut me open.

Torey and I gave the green light to do what they had to do to make sure Das was safe.

My only thought was, “Do whatever you have to in order to make sure my son is okay.”

With that said, they wheeled me to the OR. (As long as it wasn’t OR #8!! Robin Cook reference)

I’m sure they gave me some more drugs even though I don’t remember when they did. The following events occurred only once in a time frame of 10 to 15 seconds, however, they were on repeat in my head for what seemed like 15 minutes to me:

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

I told myself I was officially going crazy … and then realized I was talking to myself. I literally calmed myself down (or maybe it was the drugs talking to me). I noticed a bright white light and thought to myself, “Wow… is this THE light? You know ……… THAT light!? Is this it for me? If it is, I hope Das makes it out okay… I’ll be happy if he’s okay…” In reality, this light was probably the BRIGHT light they had above the operating table! The funny thing is I never panicked. It’s amazing how your mind works sometimes.

As my thoughts were wandering, I heard a very familiar voice. It was Torey. He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to someone else. Someone new. Someone precious. Torey had the sweetest tone of voice – so much more tender and loving than I had ever heard. It was a new tone for me. It was beautiful. So beautiful that it made me open my eyes and made me turn my head to the left. And… there they sat, my two most favorite men on the planet: Mohandas Malcolm Mitchell and Torey Mekhale Mitchell. I smiled. Das was born on 01.11.2004 at 11:14 am. He weighed: 6 pounds and 5 ounces, and was: 19 ¼ inches long.

The drugs had me knocked out for a long time, so I didn’t get to really see him until later that night.

I remember holding him in my arms that night … all alone … just me and him. My heart stopped the moment he opened his eyes to look up at me.

He has those beautiful almond-shaped eyes!

What a BLESSING!

This was his very first “studio pic” (please excuse his H-Town gang signs! haha!)

2012 Update:

Das wants to be a scientist or a baseball player … he said he’d like to go to an Ivy League school where he can learn about science and play baseball at the same time.  I know kids change their minds all of the time … so all of this right now is awesome and I won’t hold him to it (when the time comes, he’ll be ready to do what he wants) – but in the end, whatever he decides to do … I will always love him UNCONDITIONALLY.  I can’t believe he’s on the verge of his 8th birthday!  Torey, you’re an amazing father …. thank you for all you do!!!  He is like your shadow and I wouldn’t want it any other way, Sweet Heart!  I love you both – he is my Munchkin, and you are my Love.   * CHEERS * to January 11th!!!!!  

2013 Update: 

Wow!  Another year!  He’s 9!  Eeeek!  The last single digit birthday!!  He still carries the same love for baseball … except now instead of not just excelling at school and baseball, he said he’d like to end up in Cooperstown, NY – if you know baseball, then you should know what this means!!  You gotta love his ambition!!  Torey and I are extremely proud of him and love him more than anything else on this planet!  Torey: you are one incredible father!  Happy 9th Birthday, Mohandas Malcolm Mitchell!!!  I LOVE YOU!  

2014 Update: 

10!!  He’s maintaining his straight As, improving in baseball, and is growing right into his pre-teens!  Yikes!  Das loves all things WWE now, along with Pawn Stars, & American Pickers (he says these shows are great because he loves the art of negotiating and likes to learn the history behind so many different items.)  And, yes, he’s ALWAYS negotiating with us!  We love our boy!  * CHEERS * to 10!!  

2015 Update: #11 is11!!  

We’re so excited for him this year! He’ll be finished with elementary school and will be starting middle school in the Fall.  His honor roll streak took a minor dip with a B, but he’s picked it back up and doing well.  Some of Das’ teachers at school call him Senator Mitchell – while I think this title has a nice ring to it, I’ll let him make that call down the road! Science, Math, & PE are his favorite classes at school. His baseball dreams are more alive than ever and he’s been working on improving his skills.  His favorite shows to watch are The Goldbergs, Blackish, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Hulu), and Sleepy Hollow(which we watch together).  I got him on Grimm, but he won’t claim it openly! LOL!  Mince Craft is somewhat of an obsession along with MLB 2013, WWE, & Madden 15.  In this original note/blog I mentioned Torey was watching football (playoffs) during the time I was in labor. The Colts were playing against the Broncos with Payton Manning as the QB for the Colts.  This year it’s the Colts vs. the Broncos AGAIN!  And this time Pay-Pay is on the Broncos!!  Das made sure to point that out to us as soon as the game was announced!  2015 is gonna be an exciting one for Das!  I can’t wait to witness it all! Torey – it’s safe to say he’s your shadow in so many ways and I’m so proud of you both!  Much love to my two most favorite people on the planet! 

2016 Update: 12!!

Good grief!  12!  The year before the TEENAGE YEARS!!  LOL!  Crazy thing is, he’s already a teen … mood swings, the hype, the telltale conflicts, but it’s all part of life, right!?  Wee got this!  First year in middle school – transition has been an experience, but he’s doing pretty well!  Saxophone, Theater, along with Pre-AP classes, and PE.  Green Sox Baseball is still a driving force – and VERY thankful for it!  He’s been blessed to be around all of our awesome Coaches!!  He’s into Flash, The Arrow, Sleepy Hollow (which I watch with him – they may have cancelled this season! Mother-Son Show … hoping to suck him into X-Files soon!)  We got to check out the Dallas Symphony a week ago called Cirque de Symphony (pics posted already) and we had a BLAST! Our musician is growing!!  His Favorite Song of the year: The Hills by Weeknd – he claims this was his song of his last year. Ken Griffey Jr. got sooo many votes for the Hall of Fame this year!!!  EPIC – and Das is happy about!!  We love baseball!   

2017 Update: 13!!

Das is officially a teenager – time is FLYING! He’s had some serious accomplishments this year: he’s in Wind Symphony and made second chair in Regionals with his tenor saxophone, he’s in theater and his school won first place in UIL, he was on the 7th Grade football team and played as the starting linebacker and earned his way as the quarterback, and he’s still in love with the game of baseball and about to compete again in Spring! He’s learned to make beats using the Garageband app on his iPhone – he’s pretty good at it!  His first successful beat is called “Summer in LA” (Torey helped him with the title). The love for music has harnessed him for sure! Das is still in all pre-AP classes and it’s been a bit of a challenge in the sense of being organized and focused, but he’s off to a great start this second semester!  Thankfully, he has awesome teachers – especially Ms. Walker – his IDS teacher.  The amount of patience she has is amazing!  His list of favorite TV shows hasn’t changed a whole lot since his last birthday – you can add The Walking Dead to the list (It took forever to convince Torey to start watching it, but I succeeded! So Das watches with Torey now – they’re about to start Season 4!) He’s learned about the “birds & the bees” and Torey & I make sure he knows the do’s and the dont’s on a regular basis. We believe in keeping this type of conversation an open one so that Das doesn’t feel like he can’t talk to us about life.  His new favorite restaurant is Twin Peaks – good job, T-Mitch!  LOL!  He even has a favorite waitress there and when you see her you’ll know why! If you ever go to the Twin Peaks in Addison ask for Abby. Regardless of the shenanigans, we are incredibly proud of him and who is growing up to be.  He has a great sense of humor and doesn’t hesitate to share it.  I still don’t get his dance moves (ask Torey what he compares it to – SMH!) Happy 13th Birthday to our one & only Son!  

2018 Update: 14!!

The typical teenager – meaning all things related to teenage boys is upon us! Das still maintains his love for baseball, music, and video games (mainly Madden these days). He’s into that mumble rap (we don’t get it) and has no patience for alternative or rock music anymore (unless it’s Metallica or Guns-n-Roses) so he usually listens to what he wants on his headset. The Flash, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why are some of his favorite shows. Yes, he loves to play video games while watching other people play video games on YouTube (another thing we don’t get)! He keeps himself updated in the world of news and politics. As much as he loves sports, he doesn’t sit and watch a whole game – he’d rather watch highlights or watch at certain points of a game. He zones in if he’s at a live game so whatever! He loves to drive us crazy sometimes, but that’s just part of it, right?! We love him more and more and he sure knows how to make us smile and laugh! Happy 14th Birthday, Munchkin!

2019 Update: 15!!!
15 years old with a smart ass mouth and a crazy sense of humor! LOL! My eyes are already big and he manages to make them even bigger sometimes! Haha! As a High School freshman he’s in Pre-AP and AP classes and they only kick his butt when he doesn’t turn his work in! We’re hoping he does better the second semester of this year and plan on micromanaging more than ever now! Because he’s been in marching band we often find him listening to marching band tunes – he loves to play the role of the drum majors / band directors while he’s listening to music (he tried to teach me but I kept messing up!). He’s gotten a lot better at baseball and he still maintains the main catcher’s position, but he’d like to play other infield positions as well. Yes, he’s still a gamer and into Fortnite more than anything these days (the conversations between him and his friends are intense!). His go-to social media apps are Instagram and Snapchat like most teenagers. Das loves UFC more than boxing (it’s vice versa for me). He’s obsessed with all things German and World War II – not in a dark way though – it’s just something he’s interested in. He’s learning how to speak German at school and he likes to test us to see if we know what he’s saying – thank goodness for context clues! Kendrick Lamar is his go-to artist, but he still listens to the mumble rap mess! He is well aware of the political climate and makes sure he’s aware of what’s happening in the world. His favorite restaurant is still Twin Peaks – so don’t bother asking where he’d like to eat or hang out, just take him there (Canes or Pho will be fine, too!). We’re proud of our little dude! Happy Birthday, Das!

2020 Update: 16…

16 years old today … and man he’s grown a lot since 11.20.19. Since Torey’s passed away, Das has aged in ways I didn’t think was possible. He’s rarely ever the kid who used to give us a hard time by arguing about every single thing anymore… he’s not that kid anymore. Thankfully, since we transferred him to Hebron High School for his Sophomore year, he’s been surrounded by an amazing baseball team/fam, counselors and teachers. The support system he’s receiving has been beyond amazing. He’s in Driver’s Ed right now … anxious to get behind the wheel (I’m nervous, of course, but I’m looking forward to this journey with him!). He has his eyes set on a Jeep Wrangler – I’m still conflicted, but we’ll see. I prefer to see him in a pick up truck, but we’ll see. Yes, he’s still a gamer. He tried to finish his second year of German at Hebron High, but their curriculum is too advanced compared to Newman Smith so he’s going to finish high school off with American Sign Language (so AWESOME!). His choice of music is still growing and surprisingly enough it includes a lot more country than I would have imagined! I make sure to take him to the same stomping grounds that Torey took him to, so yes, Twin Peaks is still on his map! Incredibly proud of him! Both of us are missing our T-Mitch… we love you, Torey! 

2020 Update: 17…

16 years old today … and man he’s grown a lot since 11.20.19. Since Torey’s passed away, Das has aged in ways I didn’t think was possible. He’s rarely ever the kid who used to give us a hard time by arguing about every single thing anymore… he’s not that kid anymore. Thankfully, since we transferred him to Hebron High School for his Sophomore year, he’s been surrounded by an amazing baseball team/fam, counselors and teachers. The support system he’s receiving has been beyond amazing. He’s in Driver’s Ed right now … anxious to get behind the wheel (I’m nervous, of course, but I’m looking forward to this journey with him!). He has his eyes set on a Jeep Wrangler – I’m still conflicted, but we’ll see. I prefer to see him in a pick up truck, but we’ll see. Yes, he’s still a gamer. He tried to finish his second year of German at Hebron High, but their curriculum is too advanced compared to Newman Smith so he’s going to finish high school off with American Sign Language (so AWESOME!). His choice of music is still growing and surprisingly enough it includes a lot more country than I would have imagined! I make sure to take him to the same stomping grounds that Torey took him to, so yes, Twin Peaks is still on his map! Incredibly proud of him! Both of us are missing our T-Mitch… we love you, Torey! 

2021 Update: 17…

17! I can’t believe it – honestly. 11.20.2019 changed our lives and we’ve had some monumental moments without our beloved T-Mitch. It’s not fair. Das has grown up quite a bit and yes, he has more lessons to learn. I just wish T-Mitch was around for this, but since he’s not: I need those of you who care to step it up. Please. As far as Das goes, he’s schooled me on so much new hip hop! No, I don’t know every artist by heart, but I DO know Pop Smoke (he doesn’t look as good as he sounds – sorry, NOT sorry!). He’s been on some Grand Army on Netflix. He’s in love with this Kia and wants it… working on it. #missyouTMitch